Caroline Moore is the 15 year old amateur astronomer who, at age 14, became the youngest person ever to discover a supernova. And not just any supernova. Astronomers believe her star, 2008ha, represents a new category which lies somewhere between a nova and a supernova. If so, this may lead to some interesting new theories about this kind of object. You can read all about it here.
I happened to catch a short interview with Caroline on the Rachael Maddow Show last night. For a 15 year old, this little girl is amazingly smart, energetic and poised. She is exactly the kind of person we need to singling out for our young people in school to follow.
If you go to any of the links in this short post, the one I would want most for you to visit is this one, which features Barak Obama in company with Caroline and another bright young astronomer, Lucas Bolyard, at an event held at the White House in recognition of their work.
I get so discouraged sometimes at the incivility and unreasoning paranoia being directed at our President these days. Watching this video, its hard to imagine he's the same man being called everything from a covert, Muslim terrorist to a reincarnation of Hitler, not to mention an outright liar in the halls of Congress.
Now its fair to argue against the President's ideas. But these incessant - and loathsome - character assassinations are more an indictment of the people who are ignorant and churlish enough to not only believe them, but to repeat them over and over in public - as if repeating a lie somehow makes it true.
I'll admit, I didn't much care for most of the policies and decisions of George W. Bush. But even in my wildest rants against those policies, I never considered him to be anything less than a man who was trying to do what he felt was right for this country.
It strikes me now that some of these noxious allegations against the President are exposing one of the most repugnant sides of human nature. At our worst, we want to believe that anyone who disagrees with us is just plain evil. And this isn't because some people are nasty or selfish, but because they suffer from the more common affliction of being intellectually lazy. Why bother to take the challenging and difficult course of actually educating yourself on the facts, when all you have to do is believe Obama hates white people, or wants to kill old people, or wants to be the next Hitler, or is... well, a liar?